Ukrainians opt for “strong leadership” over democracy in wartime, survey says

18 August, 06:54 PM
Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Verkhovna Rada (Photo:Official website of the President of Ukraine)

Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Verkhovna Rada (Photo:Official website of the President of Ukraine)

Most Ukrainians prefer the idea of a powerful state to democracy in the country, according to a survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, conducted in July on the order of the OPORA Civil Network. Against the background of the full-scale war, the demand for a "strongman" is growing.

Some 58% of Ukrainians believe that a strong leader is more important for Ukraine during full-scale war, while 14% of respondents said the democratic system should take priority.

An even greater split in opinion is visible in the issue of the president's interference in the activities of the parliament and the government. 79% call it justified to strengthen the defense of statehood. Only 16% believe that it is important to preserve the division of powers even during war.

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Also, 57% of respondents are certain that during the war, the government should prosecute citizens for spreading views "harmful" to the state. 37% are convinced that anyone should be able to publicly express their views without fear of persecution by the government.

52% consider holding elections after the end of martial law to be less of a priority, while 40% consider it important to hold free and fair elections on time.

The survey of public opinion was held in July among 1,000 respondents over the age of 18 living in all regions of Ukraine (except the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and some districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, occupied before Feb. 24). People were interviewed by telephone survey based on a random sample of mobile numbers.

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